The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico witnessed the crash of its pathbreaking telescope on late Tuesday morning. One of the main cables collapsed onto its base with other cables and finally the structure following. The heart of the telescope upon contact with the sinkhole like base shattered ended its legacy.
The crash has widely been blamed on poor management and the telescope falling into disrepair by the US National Science Foundation. The blame also lies with the Congress, responsible for allocating funds to the USNSF.
In 1967, Arecibo was able to discover that the planet Mercury rotates in 59 days and not 88 days as had been originally thought. In the following decades, it also served as a hub in the search for extraterrestrial life, and would look for radio signals from alien civilisations. Arecibo also played a key role in tracking killer asteroids heading towards Earth. It also had a cultural aspect adding to its achievements, as it became a cultural treasure drawing visitors. It also had its shot at fame by appearing in the Bond film, Golden Eye
A group of astronomers and scientists have come together to appeal for salvaging what last remnants may still remain in Arecibo, the letter can be read here.
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